RNA - Soleimani is among the top 1% of the most highly cited scientists in stem cell research and regenerative medicine, who has cooperated with different universities across the world for years.
Upon arrival in the US on October 23, 2018 on a valid J-1 visa for a six-month sabbatical leave to cooperate with researchers at the request and invitation of Mayo Clinic, one of the top medical centers in the country, he was arrested in Chicago and transferred to a jail in Atlanta, Georgia.
Soleimani is accused of bypassing US sanctions by purchasing vials containing a human growth factor -- a substance readily available on the market and not subject to Washington's embargos.
His defense attorneys say the case has been put on a slow track at the pre-trial stage and they have so far not been able to have him released on bail either.
The 49-year-old professor and biomedical researcher at Tehran's Tarbiat Modares University is reportedly suffering from several health problems which have been aggravated during his incarceration.